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Truly Beautiful Boutique

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013

Best Of The Best (Top 5 Boutique Cigars of 2013)


Reunion#5 Bodega Reunion Aperitivo *Natural
Vitola *Corona Gorda 5.5 x 46
( Newest Member to the House Of Emilio )

Aperitivo is Spanish for Apéritif. Featuring a Habana Wrapper from Jalapa Nicaragua, this Nica Claro distinguishes itself in its strength and its flavor profile. Black pepper, earthy and barnyard notes abound. Smooth, spicy, perfect balance for any smoker, both new and old! Reunión is about Fellowship! Earning 5th in our Best Of The Best, we have been following the process and progress of this company, its 4 Founding Fathers and the 40+ blends to lock down what has been finally perfected and released to the public! Gary and the House Of Emilio have without a doubt not only built an empire of truly unique boutique cigars, but an unstoppable Family!

Earning 5th place in our Best Of The Best!


Rod#4 Rodriguez Cigars Series 84 *Natural
Vitola * Corona 48 x 6 3/4

This is a truly unique BOUTIQUE Cigar that has been low key, almost hidden on the radar and is a true jewel for anyone who comes across it in their journeys. The Series 84 embodies premium filler tobacco that has been aged for approximately 2 years, allowing for smooth refined flavors. This Medium-bodied cigar is rich and possesses a complex core of leather accompanied by hints of sweet cedar providing for a long and full finish. Featuring a Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper, Nicaraguan Binder and Filler, this is truly a one of a kind QUALITY cigar!

Earning 4th place in our Best Of The Best!


pad#3 Padilla Vintage Reserve
Vitola * Torpedo 6.5 x 52 ( Semi Box Pressed )

A Brand Reborn, Ernesto has rebuilt and re-branded his company bigger, better, stronger and more adventurous than ever! Powering up with Oliva Cigar Company, the two have utilized supplies and resources of all kinds producing some of the best and most unique cigars on the market today. The Vintage Reserve is the first cigar I have actually smoked that truly say that you can taste its true musty, bitter and matured fermented age that blends into a perfect balance of harmony! This is not a cigar with a pretty band, a fake wrapper with a Hyped Up Name and false pretense of age, this is legit! With a beautiful Broadleaf wrapper, Habano Ecuador Binder and Cuban-seed Nicaragua Corojo & Criollo Filler, this cigar is like no other.

Earning 3rd place in our Best Of the Best!


Paul#2 Paul Stulac The Lord *Natural
Vitola * Corona Gourda 6 x 44

Paul Stulac Cigars is a name that is quickly rising but 2 years ago was hardly known until its Debut into Cigar Aficionado Magazine  featuring its New Classic Core Lines. Since then, Paul has build a base camp in new home Miami FL, brought on his Miami Series in addition to his existing core classics, now introducing his newest project No Dress Code ( fresh rolled and released ) and today’s selection Shop Release and now regular production cigar, The Lords Of Albany. Featuring a Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper and all Nicaraguan Binder and Filler, this is where the creativity of a blender and concept pays off!

Earning 2nd place in our Best Of The Best!


Em#1 1502 Cigars Emerald 
Vitola * Box Pressed Torpedo 6.5 x 52

This cigar without a doubt blew me away! I am a full body smoker and never expected this of all three to be the cigar that won me over. All three releases by 1502 are fantastic as each stands on its own but the Emerald goes above and beyond! Sporting a Nicaraguan Corojo Habano Wraapper and long fillers from San Andres – Mexico and fields from Estelí and Condega in Nicaragua, this mild to medium body cigar is hands down one of the best cigars I have ever smoked. Again, Gary and the House Of Emilio have without a doubt not only build an empire or truly unique boutique cigars, but an unstoppable Family!

Earning 1st Place in our Best Of The Best!


We would like to thank each and every cigar manufactor out there that has poured their heart, soul and hard labor into the works of art you have created. This year has been an incredible year  in new release cigars, redux etc. This was a very hard decision to come upon and we wish to thank everyone again for all the support we have received and for what you do daily!




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Husband, Father of two beautiful children I am a blessed man! Owner and Marketing Director for Sticks2Ash Cigars.

Latest posts by Scott Lancaster (see all)


  1. Nice list, Scott! Emilio really represented!

    I couldn’t agree more with the Padilla Vintage Reserve. That bounced off and on of my top 10 many times! Glad to see you gave it the recognition it deserves.

    • Thank you my friend! I agree Ernesto has been put on the sidelines for far too long but I think we’ve just begun to hear this lions roar!

  2. Excellent list. We at BPB are honoured to be on it.

    • Well deserved my friend! Your relentless drive and sacrifices have paid off! I expect to see great things from you and your team!

  3. This was a very difficult task when you consider how many truly great cigars are on the market right now! If I were to cross into CC and Regionals only God knows lol
    Congrats to BPB on making it into the top 5! The decision for your placement was not difficult, picking the blend was! The natural vs Maduro are two completely different machines! I chose natural cause of the depth, complexity and unique yet intoxicating blending of this cigar that made it easily adored by any class of smoker!

  4. Scott as G said it’s an honor to be amongst your top Boutique Blends. Great photos btw, made for a really nice post!

  5. Scott, again I speak for BPB when I say we feel truly privileged to have the Aperitivo on the short list. Like a proud parent though I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on the Digestivo?

    • There is already a full review in place on both! Gino can bring you upto speed! We are going to try a variety of approaches for short review: Digestivo was a mean machine. It’s Aperitivo’s big brother, more body, more strength, heavier, richer, full flavored yet smooth and gentle. This cigar has the perfect mix of ligero to truly appreciate the dark characters of this cigar!

  6. Sticks2ash nails this one !!!

    A cigar rating isn’t based on who you know or what your relationship is to he company, the Apertivo, clear is a remarkable cigar with great tobaccos!

    Yes, you should truely judge for yourself, but this is definitely a cigar that can be held in the winners bracket.

    Congrats to Bodega Premium Blends on a job well done !!

  7. Very nice list Scott. Still need to get my hands on the Paul Stulac. Just my opinion but I do think the Padilla might have an argument on whether or not its still considered a boutique cigar. Though I know that many diverse definitions can be made out of boutique. But still a great smoke!! Another great piece worth the read.

    • GD II, Thank you for your input. I was waiting for someone to challenge me on the selection of a Padilla cigar being Boutique vs Premium. I am doing a premium 13 of 2013, but I felt the Vintage Reserve belonged in the Boutique. While it is a premium cigar, I’m looking past the label and the cigar itself is boutique beautiful! The complexity, the blending, the flavor profile, the originality and creativity sets it apart from your typical premium blended LE Cigar.

  8. No problem as always for the input. I do agree with the sticks complexity and boutique-esk build.

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